Real User Monitoring gives you an accurate view of who your website visitors or application users are, and what their behavior is like. Whether you’re an individual running a blog or a small business, or a large company with multiple offices and customers around the globe, you could be benefitting from Real User Monitoring, often known simply as RUM.
Analytics can only tell us so much, and while they might give over facts, it can be difficult to adapt these into actionable insights to get more traffic or improve your bottom line. Real User Monitoring takes the necessary steps to make this a reality. By constantly monitoring all the activity which takes place behind the scenes on your website or application, you can track your functionality, availability and responsiveness, and see exactly what the experience is like for each individual interacting with your application or website.
Here are just a few examples of what Real User Monitoring can uncover for you:
• Page load times, traffic spikes and time outs which may cause customer frustration
• Login failures or location specific server issues
• Hard to find problems, even when they occur under rare conditions
• Varied performance of mobile, desktop or cloud-based activities
• Differences in user reaction between an old and a new website
What are the Alternatives to Real User Monitoring?
You may have heard of Synthetic Transaction Monitoring, which is the most popular alternative to RUM. Unlike Real User Monitoring, Synthetic Transaction Monitoring uses fake transactions in order to test the application or website, adding behavioral scripts which mimic the activity of users. While this kind of monitoring is useful for testing an application prior to launch, it doesn’t actually tell you anything about the real-world experience that your users are having once you go live.
Are there Limitations to Real User Monitoring?
The only real downside to Real User Monitoring is that you obviously need the users to monitor in the first place! As RUM uses an accurate snapshot of what each user is doing, in periods of low activity, such as the middle of the night or when you first launch your application – you will benefit from a much lower amount of data.
Once you’re up and running, Real User Monitoring is always on, constantly collecting a real-time view of what your users are doing. This gives you as much data as you could ever need to find customer pain points or problems with your application and make smart changes. For some, this might be overwhelming. You do need to make sure that your Application Performance Management tool gives you the Data Visualization tools that you need to decipher the key metrics, though. With the wealth of data you can glean from RUM, graphics, charts and graphs are a must-have.
An APM which gives you the real user data you need, plus supports you in taking the next steps towards smart changes is invaluable in today’s business world.